News that Microsoft is to provide malware scanner updates to Windows XP for a further year, must not deter users from replacing their PCs, warns a Leicester IT expert.

Microsoft had previously stated that it would stop all support for Windows XP as from April 8 this year, so users of the 13-year-old operating system had been advised to upgrade their PC or risk viruses and hacker attacks.

This latest announcement does not mean that Windows XP users will be supported for longer, but, that Microsoft will supply updates to their anti-malware system. Dan Gifford, IT consultant with Thurmaston-based Better IT said, this is the equivalent to Anti Virus updates on your PC. Microsoft will not be fixing any security issues with the actual operating system itself. Businesses, schools and home users should not put their PC replacement plans on hold.

“Security Essentials, Microsoft’s free anti-virus software, will be provided with updates, but there will be no patches or fixes to download to resolve actual security issues after April 8 this year so the use of this extension is very limited.

“We appreciate that replacing PCs can amount to thousands of pounds, but we’d still very highly recommend making that investment and putting up with the brief inconvenience it might cause.
“The cost of not doing so, both financial and in terms of serious disruption stands to be much more if your PC is targeted by viruses or hackers.”

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